Royal wedding blamed for tumble in services output

Julian Harris
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WARM weather and the royal wedding bank holiday knocked service sector output in April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said yesterday.

Output from the UK’s largest sector plummeted by 1.2 per cent compared to March, the sharpest monthly fall since early in 2010, when heavy snow disrupted activity.

April’s one-off events are likely to have affected the fall in service sector output, the ONS said. The sector was similarly hit in June 2002, when the Queen’s golden jubilee also added a bank holiday to the calendar.

Yet the figures are nonetheless ominous for economic prospects. “This was not due entirely to one-off factors and further highlights the current weakness of domestic demand,” said Markit economist Chris Williamson.